What Your Favorite New York Restaurant Says About You

Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Our favorite restaurants are deeply personal. They represent our pasts, our palates, and our happy places; they measure our taste levels and reflect our ideas of pleasure. Unsurprisingly, certain restaurants attract certain types of people. 

I used to see Jake Gyllenhaal at all of my favorite restaurants. It convinced me that we were soul mates. This turned into a recurring dream in which Jake was my boyfriend, Maggie was my best friend, and Peter Sarsgaard was my undercover lover. Together, we all shared ribollita and black pepper pici at Locanda Vini e Olii every single night in a haze of food-orgy bliss. (Now, I see Paul Giamatti everywhere I go, so I’m not sure what to do with that.) 

Are you really what you eat? Ahead, we break down 10 popular New York restaurants (both trendy and timeless) and the types who love them. 
1 of 10
Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Racines NY
You have inner calm and outer Cartier. You believe that Carrie would have been a lot better off with the Russian. While messy drunks disgust you, there is nothing you love more than a complex glass of red while trash-talking your crazy boss and divorce-bound neighbors with an even more complex friend. You’re most likely married to yourself, which is why flirting with Arnaud, the charming French owner, feels like the right amount of wrong. (Incidentally, you think monogamy is archaic.) You love a good cut of steak and a well-tailored tart; your radically fast metabolism allows you to feel no guilt about indulging in any of it. Not that you would.

Racines NY, 94 Chambers Street (between Broadway and Church Street); 212-227-3400.
2 of 10
Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
You’re more excited about Paul Dano on your left than Justin Timberlake on your right. But really, you’re there for the pizza — not just eating it, but bragging about it afterwards. After all, you’re a legit Brooklyn foodie, possibly an off-duty food blogger, who throws dinner parties with homemade pimento cheese and Four & Twenty Blackbirds pie, who knows Julian at Rucola, the Franks of Frankies, and Mr. and Mrs. Bernamoff of Mile End. You’re in a book club that’s reading Girl in a Band (will anything EVER be as good as Just Kids?). Triumph means Julia Turshen liking one of your Instagrams; tragedy is waiting more than two hours for a table at Vinegar Hill House…again. You’re not into fashion, but love a No. 6 clog. You’re cool, but possibly not quite as cool as you think.

Lucali, 575 Henry Street (between 1st Place and Carroll Street), Brooklyn; 718-858-4086.
3 of 10
Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
The Polo Bar
You’ve been playing the New York game your entire adult life, and never plan to disengage. No one can accuse you of not working your ass off to get what you want — although they can accuse you of being a bit confrontational and erratic at times. Some nights, you come home feeling so depleted you want to cry. And, you constantly worry about the future, which is why you pay serious bank to see Scarlett Johansson’s psychic. Generally, when you're down, it’s nothing Andy Cohen and a Kiki de Montparnasse Cigar Vibe can’t fix. And hey, if you’re really eating at The Polo Bar, you’ve already won.

The Polo Bar, 1 East 55th Street (at Fifth Avenue); 212-207-8562.
4 of 10
Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Cafe Clover
By anyone’s standards, you are hot. You are as hot as Quinn from Homeland, who might've just checked you out from the bar, but you're not interested. You work out at I.AM.YOU, SLT, and SoulCycle, which you do a LOT, because your idea of the perfect body is more Kendall than Kim. Runyon Canyon is your happy place. The avocado toast at El Rey was your last orgasm. A few years ago, you might have had a small drug problem — which made you feel very Kate Moss and complicated — but, you’re not a fuck-up at all (now). Life has treated you kindly, and so you are a pleasure to be around.

Cafe Clover, 10 Downing Street (between Bleecker and Bedford streets); 212-675-4350.
5 of 10
Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
You’re an extroverted Virgo who “fuckin’ loves” prosecco and Olivia Pope. There’s no one better at organizing fun group dinners. (But, if a friend flakes, they're dead to you; loyalty is everything.) The only thing you hate more than a no-show is a hangover, of which you have many. But, you never complain, because you’re pretty much unstoppable — in the boardroom, the bedroom, or on the banquette. You’re going to party your ass off until you meet The One, an adorable finance type who will make you swear less, quit smoking, and move to the suburbs. And, guess what? You will be so happy.

Catch, 21 Ninth Avenue (at West 13th Street); 212-392-5978.
6 of 10
Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Sant Ambroeus Soho
You’re European, but never Euro. You could live on espresso, deep secrets, dark chocolate, and good cheese. You are known for having exceptional taste in everything you touch — the subway not being one of them, as you only use Uber or Citi Bike. You don’t wear/need makeup, and wouldn’t let anyone besides Julien Farel touch your honey-brown hair. You have one million friends and they’re all fabulous, yet you’re plagued by loneliness. You have a mystery lover who is very rich and very married — and that’s just enough drama, sex, and attention to keep you satisfied, for now. Negroni, please.

Sant Ambroeus Soho, 265 Lafayette Street (between Prince and Spring streets); 212-966-2770.
7 of 10
Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Xi’an Famous Foods
You have bangs and divorced parents. You’re enchanting, offbeat, and self-depreciating, yet refreshingly comfortable with the woman you see in the mirror. Even though there’s nothing glam about your fifth floor walk-up and broke-down baes, you wouldn’t want anyone else’s life but your own. That’s because you’ve worked through your issues and learned to embrace the unknown. You’re an impressive, often misunderstood creature with a kick-ass artistic spirit just waiting to be unleashed. Normal is boring; you be you. But, you know that!

Xi'an Famous Foods, multiple locations, and you like to keep your favorite one under wraps.
8 of 10
Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
You have great style, cash to blow, and a brilliant psychiatrist. The only woman you love more than Beyoncé is Isabel Marant, and the only man you love more than Jay-Z is Mario Carbone or Rich Torrisi. You’re philanthropic, you came out on the other side of a college breakdown, and you're tipsy more often than not. All in all, life is sweet. You don’t take your blessings for granted. You have way more edge and depth than people realize or give you credit for, but you’re not going to pretend that a beach house filled with Calypso caftans and sorbet-pink peonies isn’t paradise, too.

Santina, 820 Washington Street (at Gansevoort Street); 212-254-3000.
9 of 10
Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Katz’s Deli
You adore Rebecca Minkoff and a crosstown bus. It’s not that you actually eat at Katz’s often, it’s just that every time you play Tinderella at The Ludlow (like every other night) or host your BFF’s birthday dinner at Dirty French, you secretly wish you were scarfing down a pastrami sandwich in your Free City sweatpants with your hugely pregnant sister, instead. You’re well-educated, super-funny, and more than one person has given you this back-handed compliment: “I am strangely attracted to you.” New York City can beat you up sometimes, but your future is undeniably bright. Everything is going to be okay!

Katz's Deli, 205 East Houston Street (at Ludlow Street); 212-254-2246.
10 of 10
Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
You love life, action, strangers, and chicken paillard. You’re also a fundamentally nice person who’s just as thrilled to sit next to a first grade teacher from Fort Lee as a famous rockstar straight from rehab. You aren't a foodie (zzz!) and don't know the difference between Daniel Boulud and David Bouley; yet you are inherently sophisticated…probably because your mother is Belgian, or your father is a Moroccan Jew, or your grandpa had a glorious vegetable garden. Bloody Marys and dirty martinis are your drinks of choice; you just discovered eCreamery and think it’s the most perfect invention since Paintbox Nails.

Balthazar, 80 Spring Street (at Crosby Street); 212-965-1414.

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